litter, graffiti and the fear of crime Barbara Roche, minister for
social exclusion and equality, told a conference on street management
Speaking at the New Local Government Network (NLGN) conference 'The
Liveability Agenda: Working Towards Joined-Up Street Management', the
minister urged people to respond to government consultation on
changes to the legislative framework that affects the way public
spaces are designed, managed and maintained.
Barbara Roche said:
'Successful, thriving and prosperous communities are characterised
by streets, parks and open spaces that are clean, safe, attractive -
areas that local people are proud of and want to spend their time.
Tackling failure, such as litter, graffiti, fly-tipping, abandoned
cars, dog fouling, the loss of play areas or footpaths, is for many
people the top public service priority.
'Government can and will take the lead but the solutions will
invariably be local. We need to give local leaders and
decision-makers the power to get the job done. We will set targets
for improvements. We will also provide sources of advice and
expertise to help get the job done. Those responsible will know what
action they should take to deliver the cleaner, safer and greener
public spaces that everyone has a right to expect.'
The options for reforming legislation were set out in Living Places -
Powers, Rights, Responsibilities, launched at the recent Urban
Summit (see here).
This should, said Barbara Roche, facilitate a simplified and
clarified legislative framework and should ensure that not only do
those authorities with the duties and remit to take action know where
they stand but that the public will know what recourse they have if
they are not satisfied.
A detailed report and review of the presen t state of Britain's public
spaces was set out in a sister publication, Living Places - Cleaner,
Safer, Greener, that identified best practice across the country and
the importance of local environmental quality to creating inclusive
and sustainable communities.
Barbara Roche told delegates at the NLGN conference:
'The forthcoming communities' plan will set out the government's
vision for the 'communities of the future' and good quality public
space will feature as a crucial part of this agenda. The plan will
include key points and a clear plan of action to make this a
The Living Places documents draw upon work done during the course
of an Inter-departmental review of programmes and policies that
affect the public realm that formed part of Spending Review 2002.
This is the first time that central government has sought to take
such an approach to such policies.